Heritage lends itself to the capsule Western wardrobe, naturally embracing distinctive materials made for high-style adventure.
GIVE IT THE BOOT
Cowboy boots are the Western calling card, so put your best foot forward with a fresh pair that matches your style. Boot styles vary widely, but if you’re stepping into a pair for the first time, here are four staples to keep handy: black for formal, distressed brown for everyday, red to spice up the basics, and python for Old West swagger.
Style Tip: Invest in a quality leather belt in the same shade as your boots. To look extra polished? Select an exotic leather such as ostrich or caiman with sterling silver hardware.
There are no wrong ways to do denim, especially to Westerners who are known to rock denim-on-denim regularly! Those same Westerners are probably reaching for their go-to pair of bootcut jeans, ideal for riding and work. Want to dress it up? A high-waisted trouser jean is both polished and on trend in and out of the arena. For those who prefer a retro feel — classic, fitted cowboy-cut denim is back and bigger than ever.
Style Tip: Vintage denim is a great way to find a flattering cut that is also trendy. Old-school Western denim in an array of colors are full of personality and can be found for a bargain from vintage shops online — just make sure to check your measurements before you buy!
Turquoise jewelry is the quintessential accessory for both women and men of the West. Paying homage to Native American tradition, artisans create exclusive designs that are unmistakably Western. Turquoise jewelry is a definite investment in your wardrobe, but is also highly collectible as true pieces of art. For new collectors, start with pieces for everyday wear then work your way up to the statement pieces as your taste evolves.
Style Tip: If you don’t see yourself wearing hues of turquoise, there are many other stones to choose from. Opt for White Buffalo and Wild Horse for a refined, neutral look or spiny oyster for warm, Southwestern flair.
In the realm of Western jackets, Roy Rogers grandeur regularly meets Johnny Cash cool. Details such as rivets, embroidery, and fringe are enduring motifs in Western statement pieces. Throw on one of these eye-catching layers to add instant Western polish to any basic look.
Style Tip: Need to spice up your casualwear? Throw on a statement Western jacket over coordinated athleisure or loungewear for a chic street-style feel.
THE COWBOY ICON
The significance of the cowboy hat has outgrown its foundations to become an American icon. While the fundamental design is re-created all over the world, no one can hold a candle to the American makers who create cowboy hats with heritage in mind. Formed from high-quality felt and molded with hot steam into the wearer’s desired shape, a true cowboy hat is always en vogue.
Style Tip: With a rise in hat popularity, many are investing in custom hats fashioned in nontraditional colors and finishing them with one-of-a-kind details. Don’t be afraid to embrace a Western fashion hat as a conversation piece in your wardrobe.
IN THE BAG
From clutches to backpacks to full-size totes, the Western look is on-the-go friendly. Tooled leather, Pendleton wool inlay, and full-bodied fringe are among design highlights popularized by leather artisans. Louis Vuitton has also claimed a space within Western styling as makers add turquoise and leather accents to vintage bags.
Style Tip: For travel, pick up a set of coordinated bags for your toiletries, personal bag, and carry-on. You’ll be polished in the airport and easy to spot when sifting through a sea of black luggage.
Photography: Images courtesy Old Gringo Boots, Colorado Jo, Six Hand Hats, Whiskey Bound Leather Co.
From our October 2020 issue.